Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas...

 Since I never decorated my home for fall this year I was extra antsy to decorate for Christmas.  I put up our Christmas decorations the weekend before Thanksgiving... a first for me.  Matt had ankle surgery the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and I knew he wouldn't be able to be of much assistance, so that was part of my motivation in decorating early.

It was so much fun to decorate for Christmas in my new house.  I love that I have space for garland now.  I bought some garland at Costco recently, and the kids had fun playing in the box after I opened it.

It was a tad difficult decorating with my two little destroyers "helping" me.
We are constantly reminding them that the tree is for "looking, not touching".
Mostly it's my little Alayna who constantly takes the ornaments off the tree.

Hanging the last ornament on the tree...

And... the finished product!

Unfortunately it only looked that nice for one day.
The following morning the kids made sure to tear it apart, and we've been battling that every day :)

After we finished decorating the house, my mom came over to watch the kids so that Matt and I could go on a date.
Here is a picture of her with the kids before we left.

My two crazy little monkies.
... and yes, Ethan has a binky in his mouth.... don't ask

Matt and I ended up going shopping for a bit, then we had a glass of wine at Time in a Bottle, a cute wine bar in Redlands.  We then enjoyed a delicious dinner at Romanos, in Redlands.  It was a much needed night out alone, and we are always so grateful when one of our parents watches our kids for us at no cost :)

I'll post a few more pictures of my other decorations soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reading with Daddy

Alayna loves books.
As a former teacher, this makes my heart happy.
Daily, she brings books to us, plops in our laps, and wants to look through them with us.
Right now she prefers the books with textures and "real" pictures.
The other day I walked into the family room and found her sitting next to Matt happily reading a book.
It pretty much melted me :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flores Fun

Yesterday afternoon the Flores family came over for some fun family time.  We love when we have the opportunity to hang out in the afternoon and not be rushed around due to overtired kids who are ready for bed.  They cruised over around 3:00 and we spent the afternoon and evening hanging out and enjoying one another's company.

We are so blessed to have friends that feel like "home".  
Our kids adore one another and spending time with them is relaxing and recharging.
I whipped out my camera to chronicle some of our fun.

Only the second picture of the two of us in our new home

One of my most favorite couples in the world.  They sure are cute aren't they?

Me and my "sis"... oh how I love this woman and adore our friendship

It's blurry... but I like it because it's the first picture of me cooking in my new kitchen.  We whipped up a tasty BBQ chicken pizza for dinner.

The kids were angles while they ate dinner, and little miss Alayna thinks it's so much fun to eat with the big kids.
Ethan and Christian pulled up bar stools in front of the TV to enjoy a riveting episode of Clifford

After dinner things got a little crazy...
I'm not sure what the chicken nuggets did to these kids, 
but they were having FUN.
They hopped up on our "stage", aka the fireplace and got down to the Christmas music that was playing.  It was hilarious, and Christian stole the show with his crazy moves (and lack of clothing).  Alayna thought it was great fun to shake her booty, and Ethan mostly just layed there.

This guy is a HAM.... just like his Daddy :)

For some reason the dog bed has always been a place of great interest to little ones in our home.  
It's fun to sit in, lay in, and snuggle up with a friend.

Alayna LOVES to give kisses.
I love this about her.
She is very affectionate and sweet.
She kept giving little Johnny and Christian kisses.
Pucker up baby!!!
After Alayna gave Christian some of her kisses...
He was smitten.
He put his arm around her and cuddled her in the dog bed.

Then he ever so gently held her hand and guided her through the house while calling her "Miss Alayna".
It really was adorable.
He was so sweet to her.

 Poor Jolene was a trooper while Ethan and Christian took turns jumping on her and tackling her.  I think I better send her a gift certificate for a massage!!!
Don't look too closely... there might be a minor sitting at our bar.  oops.  I promise, there was no underage drinking at our house.
And one last picture, because we are dorks and we like to have fun....
A "Lady and the Tramp" moment..
sharing a breadstick.
Aren't we sweet?
Now that's love.

The greatest part about our friendship with the Flores family is that EVERY time we are together, it is wonderful.  I just don't take pictures very often :)
Thank you Danny, Jolene, Christian and Jonathan for blessing us with the best "family" friendship ever!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a nice, low key Thanksgiving this year.  We went to church this morning, which was great.  Our church has a Thanksgiving service every year, and we actually hadn't been since we've had kids.  We stopped by my mom's for a little bit after church, then spent the remainder of the day with Matt's parents.  It was just us and them this year for Thanksgiving.  We visited, ate, visited, ate... and ate some more :) 

I was hoping for a cute picture of the four of us...
yeah... wasn't gonna happen.
These three were the best I got.

Oh well... that's life right now!

This little guy was a pistol today. 
He stretched us and challenged us as he often does :)
I told my mother in law that I think God is really trying to teach me how to be more patient, because that is not one of my strongest traits :)

I think it's working a little....
instead of getting angry and upset by Ethan...
I'm really learning to smile and not let it get to me,
and to be patient and loving.
I really think you'd be amazed, like truly amazed at the amount of  screaming that comes from this child.

I have a post to write about him lately... but we'll get to that later.
Back to Thanksgiving....
I figured while we were outside we should take a couple more pictures.
My sweet hubby and I
My sweet in-laws

Ethan decided the only thing he wanted from our Thanksgiving meal was a roll... typical

Really the only thing we did besides enjoy our delicious meal and visit, was play a riveting game of dominoes :) 
Me talking to my brother on the phone while Alayna enjoys her Thanksgiving dinner

I say this every year, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I just love having a day that everyone stops to be together and focus on what we are thankful for (and of course the good food doesn't hurt).  I hope you had all had a fabulous day yourselves! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alayna at 14 months

The other day after Alayna napped and Ethan "rested" we went out front to ride bikes and play.
I couldn't resist snapping some pictures of my little cutie in the leaves.
Her pink boots were so cute.

don't mind the snotty nose, she had a cold

And guess what... another picture of ME!